Tattoo Parlors. Anxious to reopen, expecting quick rebound
The doors at Battle Born Tattoos have been closed for the past three months, but inside Archie Wood and his staff of artists are getting ready to open.
"It's been pretty tough keeping our heads above water without any income coming in at all," Wood says.
Their status as independent contractors have left them out of most relief efforts. Until very recently they've been unable to file for unemployment benefits.
" We still have to clothe and feed our children," he says. "So it's been pretty rough trying to pick up some side work. A lot of my artists have been doing some paintings."
And, unable to wait, a couple of his artists have departed. Those that are left are anxious to start working. They just need a date--Archie figures it could be this weekend, perhaps early next week-- and detailed guidelines.
Those guidelines won't be coming from county health officials. When asked they point to the state's guidelines which, except for banning any skin art or piercings around the nose or mouth are basic.
In any case Wood was expecting a lot of adjustments. He's got plenty of room for social distancing and in his business constant disinfection is routine.
"We're all trained in blood pathogens and everything like that. So other than face masks and some of the minor stuff we've been operating like that since we've been in business."
It's been a tough spell, but unlike some businesses he's confident recovery will be swift. There is – apparently -- considerable pent up demand for what he does.
"They've been calling," he says of his customer base. "'When you going to open up? When are you going to open up?' Once we open my books are full for months."